Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says time for talks with North Korea has come to an end, calling for exerting “pressure” on Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear programs.
“There is not much time left” to engage with North Korea, Abe said while addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
Abe added that the global community has done as much as it could to reach a negotiated settlement with Pyongyang. “What is needed to do is not dialogue, but pressure,” he added.
“Again and again, attempts to resolve issues through dialogue have all come to naught. In what hope of success are we now repeating the very same failure a third time?” he noted.
Abe further called for the strict implementation of UN sanctions against Pyongyang, the latest round of which includes a ban on the North’s textile exports and an embargo on work permits for the country’s guest workers.
“North Korea is attempting to dismiss with a smirk the efforts towards disarmament we have assiduously undertaken over the years,” he added.
Abe’s remarks came after US President Donald Trump threatened during his UN speech to “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacked the US or its allies.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said.
“It is time for North Korea to realize that its denuclearization is its only responsible future,” he added.
“We consistently support the stance of the United States: that ‘all options are on the table,'” stressed Abe during his Wednesday speech.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula peaked in early September, when the North announced that it had successfully exploded a hydrogen bomb, its sixth overall thermonuclear test.
Following the test, the UN Security Council adopted new sanctions against the North, a move that Pyongyang warned would not go unanswered.